Seminars heat up Kentucky Derby interest

Apr 14, 2009 8:10 PM
by Mark Mayer |

"I’ve got the winner right here," will be the cry of experts and patrons attending seminars around Las Vegas leading up to the May 2 running of the 135th Kentucky Derby.

GamingToday horse racing analyst Richard Saber will be featured along with Vic Vivio and Race Day Las Vegas radio host Ralph Siraco on Thursday, April 30 at 6 p.m. in the Palace Station race book to break down the Derby. Vivio is the race book supervisor at Palace Station.

Fiesta Henderson kicks off the seminar tour on Thursday, April 23 with Siraco, Review-Journal race writer Richard Eng and Jerry Jacovitz (Jerry J’s sheet) holding court for two hours beginning at high noon. Eng, Dave Tuley (Daily Racing Form) and Dan Shapiro (Lucky’s director of marketing) will give their thoughts on the Derby on May 1 at 6 p.m. in the Plaza book.

The latest Kentucky Derby odds released Tuesday morning at Lucky’s Race & Sports Book have Dunkirk and I Want Revenge as 4-1 co-favorites. Close behind are Friesan Fire at 11-2, Quality Road at 5-1 and Pioneerof The Nile at 6-1. The rest of the top 8 are Chocolate Candy (12-1), Papa Clem (15-1) and Win Willy (22-1).

Here are Shapiro’s brief capsules on the top contenders that he will detail in his Plaza seminar:

I Want Revenge: Overcame trouble to win the Wood Memorial, but may have peaked too early.

Dunkirk: Looks more and more like he’ll make the race. He’ll be dangerous off just three starts.

Quality Road: It turns out his quarter crack was apparently not a big deal. The absence of Old Fashioned should help him.

Friesan Fire: He’s Larry Jones’ only hope now with Old Fashioned injured. He’ll have a 7-week layoff to the Derby.

Pioneerof The Nile: Beat I Want Revenge and Papa Clem in California. Still hasn’t raced on natural dirt.

Chocolate Candy: Had the perfect prep in the Santa Anita Derby, setting him up for a big race in Louisville.

Papa Clem: Came from off the pace to win the Arkansas Derby, but I question the quality of that race.